I had a Daisy pump BB gun as a kid and then a Crossman air rifles and C)2 pistol in junior high (which I still have today) but it really started when I met my girlfriend (future wife) in high school and her dad had a modest collection. After getting married, his collection started to grow and I became more interested. I went out shooting with him once after having only shot air rifles and .22's. He brought with a 2nd generation 9mm S&W and S&W .357 magnum revolver. That set the hook and it was all over. I loved the 9mm auto and I'll never forget shooting that .357 magnum .... wow!
So now I have my own 3rd gen S&W 5906 and I'm hoping some day he'll pass down 1 of his .357 magnum revolvers to me.
btw - My favorite rifle (and one of my 2 favorite guns) - it's still the first one I bought, a Marlin bolt action .22 Magnum rifle.
597 VTR, because there's so many cans and so little time!